Privately held secure email firewall appliance vendor CipherTrust, which claims to be in its eighth consecutive quarter of profitability and positive cash flow, has said it now intends to push into the broader messaging security segment.
CEO Steve Raber said the company has secured itself a market position as a vendor of anti-spam systems with its IronMail gateway appliance. We are a boundary company, but we have matriculated over the last three years from a position of secure email, and virus and worms protection. You are going to see us move into other areas by the end of the year, with systems that will secure message delivery in accordance with a pre-set compliance or message archiving policy. Raber suggested that the company can also be expected to be seen working closely with software vendors such as Veritas, and the likes of Legato or KVS.
The move into secure messaging is likely to move CipherTrust up against sector specialist Tumbleweed Communications, which after its acquisition in March of Linux-based anti-spam vendor Corvigo Inc is coming in the opposite direction and pushing from secure file transfer into the gateway appliance segment. Tumbleweed expects to see revenue in excess of $20m in the first half of 2004, and a considerably improved performance on the year-ago period. Another CipherTrust rival, Brightmail, which is now owned by Symantec, recorded a revenue of $26m in its last fiscal year to January 2004.
Demand for anti-spam solutions continues to be strong. Security policy and compliance, instant message security and email phishing fraud continues to be a growing problem, and authentication is considered to be the long-term solution. In the meantime, demand for security appliances is expected to rise, especially among big businesses. Raber claims CipherTrust now has 30 of the Fortune 500 as customers.
Atlanta-based CipherTrust said the big attraction of its appliance range is an Enterprise Spam Profiler module which uses a statistical lookup service or SLS that generates message signatures which are queried in real-time to a global database and then benchmarked against thresholds set within the appliance. Not only does the approach help calculate the probability that a message really is spam before it is blocked, but it will detect any incoming malware well ahead of any signature release, Raber claimed.
In March the vendor took on board a $42m chunk of investment in its first institutional round of financing to continue with its expansion plans. CipherTrust now has 16 offices in five countries. Investors backing CipherTrust include Greylock and Battery Ventures, US Venture Partners, Noro-Moseley Partners, and Silicon Valley Bank.